Izzy, our venerated Hobby Coach, is not just an adept instructor but also a formidable competitor. Fresh from his win at the Nova Open, he dives deep into the stories behind his works, his inspirations, and offers some golden nuggets of advice for all hobby enthusiasts.

Inspiration Behind the Riptide: Izzy, congratulations on your Silver win! Can you share with us the inspiration behind your Riptide design and how you approached this project from conception to completion?

This is one of my favorite warhammer 40k models. I have built and painted probably 30 or more of this kit. I wanted something that signified him being in battle but doing something a little different rather than just shooting.

I always recommend looking for references to find the best way to pose a model.

This riptide and the story behind is that he is jumping to save an aircaste pilot that has been shot down and landed with his scape pod in the middle of no man’s land.

He jump in last minute putting his body and energy shield in between the pilot and the incoming artillery barrage from imperial artillery.

After having the idea of what I wanted execution was easier.

The Winning Edge: What do you believe set your Riptide apart in the vehicle category, and how did you go about emphasizing those unique elements?

I think the story the slight conversion and strong color saturation and attention to details make a big difference.

This is one of my gaming pieces. And it was presented in a gaming base. Probably it would have done even better if I had presented it in a better base. Maybe next year we will see. 😉😉😉

Challenges Along the Way: Every award-winning piece usually has its fair share of challenges. Were there any particular hurdles you encountered during this project, and how did you overcome them?

Usually having the right idea in mind is difficult. Finding the right angle the right pose the right story to tell is the hard part. Mistakes happen and things can change along the way or a new better idea might come up. Adaptability is key.

Nova Open Experience: Aside from your personal win, how was your overall experience at the Nova Open? Were there any highlights or standout moments for you?

Teaching people is my highlight. Being able to share your knowledge with people that actually want to learn is a blessing. Also being able to exchange ideas with a lot of fantastic artists and instructors is amazing and invaluable. You have a critical mass of some of the best people in the hobby at the same place.

Coaching at Nova Open: Hosting classes at such a prestigious event is no small feat. Can you share a bit about the topics you covered and the reception you received from attendees?

I had the honour and pleasure to teach 2 classes at Nova.
-how to assemble miniatures like a boss

Which is my favorite. Teaching people techniques and tips to get the best out of your minis. How to magnetize, pin, sand, pose etc.

The second class is about, How to paint the most vibrant red possible. I teach people how to apply my patented formula of red color in models. I also teach and explain a little of history and techniques for the airbrush.

The attendees really enjoy and learned a lot in the classes I was really happy about that.

Teaching vs. Competing: How do you balance the roles of competitor and teacher? Do you find that one role informs or enhances the other?

When you enter a piece and have feed back of what your did right and wrong and how you can improve, makes a huge difference and it is incredibly helpful for further development. Also seeing other pieces there just makes you want to do more and you can explore all this different ways people think and view art.

Teaching from experience is the best way of teaching in my humble opinion.

Tools of the Trade: Are there any specific tools, paints, or techniques that you felt were pivotal in achieving the finish on your Riptide?

to achieve that award and make that riptide look the way it did.
I basically followed my own teachings in both assembling/converting and painting. So I guess that was the secret sauce.😉😉😉

Advice to Aspiring Hobbyists: For those looking to elevate their painting and perhaps compete in events like the Nova Open, what advice would you offer?

For new comers and people getting into the hobby best advice I can give is do it.
Get a project find as much information and knowledge and jump in. DO IT.
You need to learn that way and it is awesome. It is very rewarding. Just jump in and try it.

Future Endeavors: After such a significant win and a successful class hosting, what’s next for you in the world of Warhammer and hobby coaching?

Next endeavour in the class department will be teaching at LVO 2024. That will be awesome.

Also I will do some local coaching in North Carolina now that I moved there.

Last but not least.

I am getting the right gear to create videos and tutorials to help the Vanguard Tactics academy as much as I can.

Reflection on the Journey: Looking back on your journey from starting as a hobbyist to now, a coach and award-winning painter, what are some key lessons or takeaways that you’d like to share with the community?

I started when I was 5 or 6 assembling boat models and planes not knowing what I was doing. I am 42 now and I know this hobby is my passion and my element.

Had opened so many doors for me, have led me to meet all this wonderful people and be able to share my hobby with the world. Is fantastic.

Patience and dedication that’s my secret that I want to share. Be patient with your hobby journey and work hard to achieve your goals.

Student in the Spotlight: Philip Cohen

Student in the Spotlight: Philip Cohen

STUDENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PHILIP'S JOURNEY BACK TO COMPETITIVE WARGAMING Platinum Vanguard Tactics Academy Student Philip Cohen recently attended his first event after a 6 year hiatus - and won! We caught up with Philip recently to find out how he got on, how the...

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